Recipe courtesy of Elena Besser

Beet-Cured Salmon Breakfast Salad

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 3 days 30 min (includes curing time)
  • Active: 30 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
Breakfast doesn't have to mean eggs, bacon or pancakes. I am a massive fan of all things vegetables and when I learned the legendary Andre De Shields was coming on the show, I knew a breakfast salad would be the perfect dish for him. We'll show you how to make a gorgeous beet-cured salmon, slice it like a professional and serve it over a bed of shaved fennel, luscious slices of avocado, quick-pickled red onions and crunchy nuts. With a dish this classy, you'll be wondering why you haven't been eating salad for breakfast until now.


Beet-Cured Salmon:


Citrus Vinaigrette:



  1. For the beet-cured salmon: In a medium bowl, combine the beets, fennel fronds and lemon zest. In a small bowl, stir together the salt, granulated sugar and black pepper.
  2. Place a sheet of plastic wrap over a rimmed sheet tray and place the salmon on top of the plastic wrap, skin-side down. Pack all sides of the salmon with the salt mixture, pressing down with clean hands to secure the mixture. Next, pack on the beet mixture. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator, weighed down with another sheet tray and heavy book, to cure for 72 hours.
  3. For the quickle: When the salmon is cured, combine the vinegar, salt, granulated sugar and 1/3 cup warm water in a mason jar. Shake to combine and dissolve the sugar and salt. Add the onions, close the lid, shake and set aside for 15 to 20 minutes.
  4. For the citrus vinaigrette: In a medium bowl, stir together the grapefruit juice, lemon juice, Dijon, salt and white pepper. Add the olive oil and whisk to combine.
  5. For the salad: Remove the beets and salt mixture from the salmon and rinse with water. Pat dry with paper towels and place on a cutting board. Using a super-sharp knife, slice the salmon thinly on an angle to get paper-thin slices. Set aside.
  6. In a medium bowl, dress the fennel with half of the citrus vinaigrette and toss together to combine.
  7. Cut the avocado horizontally around its equator and remove the pit. Remove the peel, place the halves cut-side down and run your knife across the avocado to cut 1/4-inch rounds.
  8. Place the dressed fennel on a large plate, top with the avocado, salmon slices, quick-pickled onions and toasted macadamia nuts. Drizzle with the remaining dressing and top with fennel fronds.